Looking back at the Cardinals' 10 most disappointing prospects of the past decade

Many St. Louis Cardinals fans have a propensity to overhype prospects. These 10 players indicate that it's often best to keep expectations measured.
St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles
St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages
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3. Luke Weaver

Luke Weaver topped out as the Cardinals' second-ranked prospect by Baseball America in 2017, but he managed only a 4.79 ERA in three years with the Cardinals. A fly ball pitcher with a strong fastball and changeup, Weaver served as the ace of Florida State University and was the 27th overall pick of the 2014 draft.

Weaver was the Cardinals' 2016 Minor League Pitcher of the Year according to MLB Pipeline, when he had a 1.40 ERA in 77 innings with Double-A Springfield. He was less successful with the Cardinals when he was called up in place of an injured Michael Wacha, holding a 5.70 ERA and allowing 46 hits in 36.1 innings.

Weaver owned a 7-2 record and a 3.88 ERA in his time with the Cardinals in 2017, but in 2018, when he was named to the starting rotation at the beginning of the season, he struggled to the tune of a 6-11 record and a 4.67 ERA in 24 starts. He was moved to the bullpen, where he had control issues, walking 10 batters in 11 innings.

The Cardinals sent Weaver to the Arizona Diamondbacks along with Carson Kelly and Andy Young in the Paul Goldschmidt trade, and Weaver pitched to a 4.72 ERA in his four seasons in the desert. In 2022, he began an excursion across four teams, playing with Kansas City, Cincinnati, Seattle, and the New York Yankees. Weaver has emerged with the Yankees, holding a 2.70 ERA with the club in 2024.

Trading Weaver bore much fruit for the Cardinals when they received Goldschmidt, and Goldschmidt's production likely far exceeded any that Weaver would have ever given the Cardinals. Nevertheless, the Cardinals likely wanted to see more out of the first-rounder when he entered their rotation in 2018.